Several citizens alerted the Northfield Police Department to possible illegal activity at Mystic Massage. Chief Monte Nelson said his investigators did additional digging and found some other concerning information that he was not able to go into. The investigation went on for several months. This isn’t a typical issue for Northfield, Nelson said they received assistance from the BCA’s Predatory Crimes Unit who deal with prostitution and human trafficking. Nelson added, “even if we do them all the time, they’re still a difficult crime to investigate because you do have to be careful about how you do it and still create a prosecutable case”. Zuqiu Chen was arrested on Promotion of Prostitution charges. His bail is $200,000 with conditions. It’s high bail due to a possible flight risk.
Nelson commented on the female masseuses, “it is a challenge because they might be a victim and a suspect at the same time and that gets back to the uniqueness of this sort of investigation. That’s why it’s not finished. Nelson said there are several factors in this case as there’s also immigration issues. As a local police department they don’t enforce Federal immigration laws. With this case, they will be working with other agencies. They need to figure out how to help someone if they are a victim. If they’ve been forced, and how do you balance the victim aspect with concerns over immigration. Nelson said his department has connected the women to an advocacy group.
Bly encourages constituents to “be involved”
House District 20b representative David Bly says the Legislature wants the public involved, they want them to “testify”. Ideally they’re making laws that affect people’s lives maybe even more so than the Federal government. He added, “it’s important for people to pay attention and be involved”. Contact your legislators at leg.state.mn.us For instance, Bly is on the Ag committee and there’s fear that Legislators will cut spending. To him, it’s disconcerting that they want to cut spending when they haven’t even passed a transportation bill or a bonding bill (which does include some spending). He says if they’re going to reduce the money that government has, they should make sure they’re spending it on what people want. So, tell them what you want.
Downstream Film Series showcases local filmmakers
The Cannon River Watershed is bringing another film series to Northfield. Community Engagement Coordinator Kristi Pursell said this time it’s more local. They’re highlighting local filmmakers and the community. Called “Downstream”, the series is set for the next three Saturdays at various locations in Northfield starting at Tomson Hall on the St. Olaf Campus tomorrow at 4:30pm. There will be discussion after the screenings. Find out more at downstreamfilmseries.com.